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Showing posts from November, 2010

Sermon on Romans 13:11-14, for the First Sunday in Advent, "God's Time is Son-Rise!"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. For church-goers, today marks the beginning of a new year, as we begin the season of Advent, in preparation for Christmas. As we enter this new year, we consider what Paul says in Romans 13: “You know the time…” Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Do you know the time? What time is it? In the reading, St. Paul tells us that “you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.” Hopefully now that you’re at church, and you’re listening to me, you’re not still asleep, right? So can you tell me what the time is and what hour Paul is talking about? It’s helpful to know that there are two different ways that the New Testament writers speak of time. There’s the ordinary kind of time, called chronos in Greek. As in “chronological.” Chronos is the kind of time you’d be talking about if you asked someone on the street what time it was, and th…

Colossians 3:12-17, Wedding Sermon

(A wedding sermon I preached a few years ago)


Colossians 3:12-17
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

P: This is the Word of the Lord
C: Thanks be to God

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The basis for the message t…

Sermon on Malachi 3:13-18, for the Last Sunday of the Church Year, "God of Reversals"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today is the last Sunday in the Church Year, and as our readings again focus on Judgment Day, we listen to the Old Testament reading from Malachi. The situation was that the Jews were complaining against God how unfair it was that the wicked prospered. As we study this reading, we’ll consider how we’ve complained against God, what God’s response is to the injustice of this world, and how that sets a pattern for us as Christians to respond to it as well. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

“But it’s not fair!” a child exclaims. “Life isn’t fair, kid; deal with it” the adult replies. It’s a pretty familiar exchange, and we’ve all been there. “When life deals you a bad hand, you do the best to play the hand you’re dealt,” goes a common proverb. Everyone has had times in their life when they grumbled or complained that things just seemed unfair. In the …

Sermon on Luke 21:5-28, for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost, "In the Word"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today we’re drawing near to the end of the Church Year, and next Sunday will be the Last Sunday of the Church Year. At the end of November, the readings always focus on the end of times and Jesus’ return for judgment and the redemption of the world, just before the Church’s calendar rolls into the season of Advent and Christmas. This continual cycle of the Church Year keeps us watching and waiting with faith and hope, and returns us to the life and times of Jesus and the Church as another year passes and our waiting is renewed. Today we also remember the work of the LWML or Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, and their commitment to continue the work of spreading the Good News until Jesus returns. Their theme for this year, “People of God—in the Word”, is a good reminder of how we are to be ready for the end of times that Jesus describes in our Gospel reading from Luke 21. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God …

Sermon on 1 John 3:1-3, for All Saints' Day, "Saints are..."

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Dear Saints of God in Christ Jesus! Today we observe All Saints’ Day, remembering those Christians who have died and gone before us to their eternal reward with Christ. Using our epistle reading from 1 John, we’ll look at who the saints are, and what it means to be a saint. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saints are children of God. Does that strikes you as too ordinary and familiar a truth? Heard it too many times before? Then we need to have our minds refreshed to appreciate again this wonderful reality. John says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and so we are.” See what kind of love. John calls us to marvel at this love of God. Marvelous because we were not always children of God. Before God looked for us and found us, we were orphans, we were in darkness. Sons of disobedience and en…

Sermon on Romans 3:19-28, Reformation Day, "Grace as a Gift"

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today we remember Reformation Day, the day when Martin Luther nailed 95 statements or Theses to the Cathedral door in Wittenberg Germany. In 7 more years, in 2017, it will be the 500th year anniversary of the start of the Reformation. Although there are countless ways that the Reformation has affected the church and the world in the 493 years since, the most important for us is the recovery of the teaching that a person is set right before God completely by the work of Jesus our Savior. The Reformation made it clear that the Bible taught Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were completely sufficient, adequate, and satisfactory to turn away God’s anger against human sin, and to purchase eternal salvation. It was not incomplete in any way. Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

What made the Reformation of the Christian church so necessary? It was becaus…